The Gnostic Bible

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Willis Barnstone, Marvin W. Meyer
Shambhala, 2003 - Religion - 860 pages
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Gnosticism was a wide-ranging religious movement of the first millennium CE—with earlier antecedents and later flourishings—whose adherents sought salvation through knowledge and personal religious experience. Gnostic writings offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. For example, some gnostic texts suggest that god should be celebrated as both mother and father, and that self-knowledge is the supreme path to the divine. Only in the past fifty years has it become clear how far the gnostic influence spread in ancient and medieval religions—and what a marvelous body of scriptures it produced. This is the first time that such a rich and diverse collection of gnostic texts have been brought together in a single volume, in translations that allow the spirit of the original texts to shine. The selections gathered here, in poetic, readable translation, represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar expressions of gnostic spirituality. Their regions of origin include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. Also included are introductions, notes, an extensive glossary, and a wealth of suggestions for further reading.

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The gnostic Bible

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Poet and translator Barnstone and Meyer (Bible & Christian studies, Chapman Univ.) have joined forces to present a large collection of gnostic source literature. The nature and beliefs of ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Willis Barnstone was born in Lewiston, Maine. He attended Bowdoin, Columbia, and Yale, earning his doctorate. Barnstone taught in Greece from 1949 to 1951, and in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War. He went to China during the Cultural Revolution, where he was later a Fulbright Professor of American Literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University from 1984 to 1985. Barnstone has authored more than forty books, poetry collections, poetry translations, philosophical and religious texts. He is a former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, is a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and is in the Institute of Biblical and Literary Studies at Indiana University. He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Emily Dickinson Award, the W. H. Auden Award, and a PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Special Citation for translation. Barnstone was also a Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry. His titles include The Complete Poems of Sappho,, Translated with an Introduction, Ancient Greek Lyrics, Love Poems, and Café de l'Aube à Paris, Dawn Café in Paris: Poems Composed in French and Their Translation in English.

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